The government approved the proposal by the Ministry of the Interior, based on which the Czech Republic will accept more Belarusians persecuted by the Alexander Lukashenko regime. The support program is targeting Belarusian health professionals and their families. In the past, Czechia has admitted 60 Belarusian citizens for their health and rehabilitation.
“Unfortunately, the situation in Belarus is not getting better, and people are still being persecuted by the regime. Thanks to the Medevac program, we have an effective tool to transport them to the Czech Republic and help them. We have decided to reactivate this assistance,” said Interior Minister Jan Hamáček.
“Paramedics help on the front line, which is why they are among the most vulnerable groups that need our help,” he added.
The Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Health will take part in the assistance program. The Interior Ministry will provide transport for health professionals and their families to the Czech Republic. It will also participate in getting residence permits and short-term accommodation for the Belarusians as well as helping them enter the labor market.
Through its embassies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will ensure on-site coordination and the issuance of relevant visas. The Ministry of Health will then be in charge of ensuring the cooperation of hospitals and medical facilities in order to find suitable employers that can, in addition to offer jobs, also provide the Belarusians with accommodation or Czech-language tutoring.
Last year, the Czech Republic also helped Belarusians injured or persecuted by the Lukashenko regime. Some of them were shot during clashes with security forces, while others appeared to have been tortured. At that time, a humanitarian council consisting of representatives of the Belarusian diaspora in the Czech Republic selected those most in need, with the final decision being made by the Ministry of the Interior.
Unrest in Belarus erupted last year after the August presidential election. Authorities declared the victory of Lukashenko, who has been at the helm of the country since 1994. However, a large part of the population considers the election results to be distorted and began to demonstrate against them. The election results have not been recognized by the EU either.
Title image: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, center, listens to medics while visiting a blood transfusion center in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Andrei Stasevich/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)